It Cuts Both Ways

© Susan Dorothea White

It Cuts Both Ways, 1998
carved salvaged Huon pine, fabric, shears, paint
120 x 46 x 10 cm
Hechinger Collection - International Arts & Artists, USA

Referring to the balance between gender and races, the bold sculpture suggests that any potential movement of either pair of hands would activate both pairs equally. To realize this piece, she replaced the handles of garden shears with hands carved from salvaged Huon pine (which can take up to 3,000 years to grow!) and modified found clothing for the sleeves.

- Sarah Tanguy, curator, Tools as Art The Hechinger Collection (2002)


Susan Dorothea White's use of unusual materials such as endangered and recycled woods native to Australia contributes significantly to the effectiveness of her work, with the grain showing through her translucent glazes in her paintings and the surface skillfully carved in mixed media sculptures such as It Cuts Both Ways. In the latter sculpture, black and white clasping hands morph into lethal-looking shears, while in White's bronze maquettes for monumental fountains, natural phenomena are imaginatively transformed through the artist's fluid handling of shapes in space.

- Andrew Margolis, Gallery & Studio, New York  (1998)

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